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Old 08-18-2008, 11:06 PM   #1
Wormgear
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From One Trackday Noob to Another

Update on my addiction to Track :

Well it isnít getting any better. But then again how could it? (more track time?) 7 Track days under my belt since my first soul clenching time out on May 26th. Hittiní the track pipe again this Friday and on 9/1 just because I can.
Iím not ready for prime time (or even small time) yet and I'm sure I never will be but Iím haviní a blast and getting faster (slowly). I guess Iím a fast intermediate / slow advanced rider now which means Iím either passing, or being passed by most everybody depending on which group Iím in. Been to 4 different tracks and Friday will make 5. Crashed 3 times (Aurgh) but the bike and I held up well through out.
I guess Iíve learned some things (other than crashing sux) but my last time out I had a lap timer, AND a catharsis. Now I can (and did) see where a timer / aggressive noob are maybe a bad combo but it showed me something. I found that what the instructors have basically been telling me from the start, that I refused to accept, was true. Smooth IS fast. Surprise!
Hauliní around the track, usiní the throttle like an on / off switch, braking just shy of stoppieland and generally feeling that I was pushing it to and over my limitÖ turns out NOT to be the fastest way around the track after all. I only accepted this fact after just getting tired of pushing so hard. It had been a long day and I was hot and tired. I decided to take the last couple sessions easy. Just concentrated on my lines and was easy on my throttle, my brakes and myself. Thought about body position but did not force it. It felt good, felt easy, felt in control, felt,Ö. SMOOTH. Yeah but my lap times are really slow (I was certain afterwards), right? Wrong Speed Racer! your lap times were 3 to 5 seconds faster than your previous outings best. Sure the last thing I did was crash but thatís beside the point and to some extent, in my mind, not all my fault. Ok, so I wasted almost 6 trackdays since that first when instructor Tom told me sumpin like "think smoother, not faster", but They were thrillers all the same.
I guess Iíll need to go back to skydiving if I need a valid out of control experience. ENJOY!
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Old 08-18-2008, 11:20 PM   #2
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ooops, wrong button...








Like you said, smooth is the trick. Glad you are having fun out there...'cause none of us are getting paid for this and if we do not have fun, what is the point.
Keep it up. Great info for noobs for sure.
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Old 08-18-2008, 11:45 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wormgear View Post
Yeah but my lap times are really slow (I was certain afterwards), right? Wrong Speed Racer! your lap times were 3 to 5 seconds faster than your previous outings best. Sure the last thing I did was crash but thatís beside the point and to some extent, in my mind, not all my fault. Ok, so I wasted almost 6 trackdays since that first when instructor Tom told me sumpin like "think smoother, not faster", but They were thrillers all the same.
I'm glad you had that epiphany! I thought I saw a flickering light at TWS (Texas World Speedway) at the end of the day...

I'll be on the 1.3 mile track working with one student- grab me as I come off the track and twist my arm to follow you/ follow me for a few laps- I'll be glad to help.

We'll get your "golf swing" back in control soon enough, sounds like you're on the right path now!
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Old 08-19-2008, 12:03 AM   #4
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I'm glad you had that epiphany!
Epiphany! Thatís the word. I didnít have a catharsis, really Iím fine!

Jeez, now I need a vocabulary instructor too.
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Old 08-19-2008, 12:17 AM   #5
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Epiphany! Thatís the word. I didnít have a catharsis, really Iím fine!

Jeez, now I need a vocabulary instructor too.
I don't know, riding a track can be cathartic too... sometimes I think you're "catatonic" when I talk to you about slowing down to go fast though...
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Old 08-19-2008, 12:27 AM   #6
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ooops, wrong button...


Careful, or Iíll unleash some of my POETRY on yer .
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Old 08-19-2008, 12:27 AM   #7
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I don't know, riding a track can be cathartic too... sometimes I think you're "catatonic" when I talk to you about slowing down to go fast though...
Yep, Iím pretty hardheaded.
But that was a good thing at the end of my last session.
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Old 08-19-2008, 08:11 AM   #8
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Glad to hear you're having such a good time w/ the track thing.

Only words (criticism) I will offer is 3 crashes in 7 trackdays is a bit extreme. Yes, trackdays are for pushing your limits (sort of) but ultimatley it's about being in control of the bike (and yourself).

Crashing is a part of this sport and the saying is it's not a matter of if you'll go down, but when. But that doesn't mean to ride out of control. Just my $.02.

Here's a little factoid for ya: Kenny Roberts won Moto GP 3 years stright 1978-1980. During that time he crashed out of a race only 1 time. Considereing the machinery (and tires) he was on, that is unbelievable.
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Old 08-19-2008, 08:45 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by dhdrider View Post
Glad to hear you're having such a good time w/ the track thing.

Only words (criticism) I will offer is 3 crashes in 7 trackdays is a bit extreme. Yes, trackdays are for pushing your limits (sort of) but ultimatley it's about being in control of the bike (and yourself).

Crashing is a part of this sport and the saying is it's not a matter of if you'll go down, but when. But that doesn't mean to ride out of control. Just my $.02.

Here's a little factoid for ya: Kenny Roberts won Moto GP 3 years stright 1978-1980. During that time he crashed out of a race only 1 time. Considereing the machinery (and tires) he was on, that is unbelievable.
+1, we've had that discussion, haven't we Randy?

I think Randy has turned a corner after the TWS (Texas World Speedway) event!

A little background on Randy (if you don't mind Randy- ima do it anyway... ). He comes from a dirt bike racing background and hasn't quite made the distinction between street bike track and dirt bike track. It's evidenced by his corner entry and throttle techniques- almost exactly like dirt bike racers/ riders do- very late in, hard on the brakes, hard throttle out on the wide side of the corner. If you transpose a dirt bike under Randy on the track over his SV1k, you cold see it immediately.

A lot of the "instruction" he's gotten from others has kindof confused things too- too many "golf instructors" He's all discombobulated from too many things to think about and different "theories".

He's wiped a bit of that out and promises to start fresh next time!
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Old 08-19-2008, 08:51 AM   #10
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Wow, 7 trackdays and 3 crashes...yikes. Smooth is the key as others have mentioned. Speed will come with smoothness, seat time, and some guidance from instructors and/or following smooth guys for a few turns before they break away. The faster you go, things will start to change in how you ride though so you have to adapt and learn. There will also come a time where you may benefit from better suspension to keep those tires planted on the track, although stock suspension is pretty goo nowadays and can handle more than you think.
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Old 08-19-2008, 09:10 AM   #11
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7 track days and 3 crashes sound like my mini season last year
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Old 08-19-2008, 09:29 AM   #12
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one of the things that helped me a lot my last track day was, the LSTD intructors told us for one sessions "1 gear, no brakes", and later in the day I was following Tom and he was completely blasting me. We stopped and he told me thats how he had been riding, which told me I was too busy and needed to simplify things. being on the littel sv forces me to be smooth to keep corner speed up.
good write up! (though this is coming from even more of a n00b)

I only wish I could get 7 track days in a year
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Old 08-19-2008, 10:41 AM   #13
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Look out Godsuki, I’m getting a mini soon too!
Ok guys the point of my post was to tell other noobs that smoother really IS faster and you don’t have to feel out of control to be fast. I thought my lil story might keep a few noobs coming back who might otherwise ride hard, not listen to their instructors, crash and say goodbye to the track. Or worse yet, get hurt. I did not mean to focus on my crashes but now in my defense I’ll explain them cuz I don’t want to be considered a total dumbass or menace to society out there.
First was on my first TD, first session after moving to group 2. I thought I was a badass and wanted to prove I was fast enough. I dove into a turn like superman off a bulding but being that my cape was under my leathers, it didn’t fly. I tucked the front and lowsided. Ok, stupid noob trick…I know.
Second, I was riding in the rain with race tires. Wanted to get a feel for loss of traction. Well I felt it and don’t think I’ll go looking for it again.
Third, I got pushed off the track while trying to pass someone on the outside who suddenly went way wide. At least I didn't let the guy hit me. It would have been a simple runoff but I hit something that tripped me up.
Ok maybe I’m not helping my case for non-dumbass status but I had to try.
And finally, I’ve ridden in 3 LSTD events and crashed in, let’s see….All Three! No I’m not trying to make a connection there other than to say I’ll be there with LSTD again on Friday and I’m gunna go ahead and put it out there, I will NOT crash!
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Old 08-19-2008, 02:08 PM   #14
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...lol...

some bikes go by slow,
some bikes get through in a flash,
I've crashed 3 times out of 7,
where my was, now there is a nasty road rash.


... I thought I would take a stab at it....


J/K. Great to see you can see the improvements over previous riding style. Keep it up my friend.




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Careful, or Iíll unleash some of my POETRY on yer .
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Old 08-19-2008, 04:19 PM   #15
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Look out Godsuki, Iím getting a mini soon too!
Ok guys the point of my post was to tell other noobs that smoother really IS faster and you donít have to feel out of control to be fast. I thought my lil story might keep a few noobs coming back who might otherwise ride hard, not listen to their instructors, crash and say goodbye to the track. Or worse yet, get hurt. I did not mean to focus on my crashes but now in my defense Iíll explain them cuz I donít want to be considered a total dumbass or menace to society out there.
You'll be fine, and you'll love the 1.3 at Cresson! I'll be sure to drag you around and see what we can see Friday. Will be fun regardless!
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Old 08-19-2008, 04:30 PM   #16
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Yes, very funny, but if that poem was a track day.....

Theyíd be scoopin' ur bike on the trailer
And you would have a broken neck
So better stick to ridiní Son
That poem was a real train wreck

See ya around the round and round.
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Old 08-19-2008, 04:34 PM   #17
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Ill be lookin for the same epiphany as you when I hit the track pipe for the third time on 9-7...thanks for the insight.
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Old 08-19-2008, 04:46 PM   #18
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Ill be lookin for the same epiphany as you when I hit the track pipe for the third time on 9-7...thanks for the insight.
See! right there!
Right right right right there!
THAT's what I was shootin' for!
That's what I'm talkin bout
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Old 08-19-2008, 04:59 PM   #19
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Quote:
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Yes, very funny, but if that poem was a track day.....

Theyíd be scoopin' ur bike on the trailer
And you would have a broken neck
So better stick to ridiní Son
That poem was a real train wreck

See ya around the round and round.


...lol


we all know what you are aiming to do and you are doing great. We all hope other noobs will come in and say this same thing to themselves: maybe I should try this and see how it is like.

Great job, not so great on the poem... - but entertaining nevertheless.
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Old 08-19-2008, 05:00 PM   #20
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Quote:
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Look out Godsuki, Iím getting a mini soon too!
First was on my first TD, first session after moving to group 2. I thought I was a badass and wanted to prove I was fast enough. I dove into a turn like superman off a bulding but being that my cape was

It's been told many times before and noobs will continue to do what they do best, being noobs.

I also was a noob and crashed on my first trackday. I found that being out there at your own pace and having fun is the key of learning.
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